Saturday, 24 July 2021

Our Salad Days

 My three word gardening post is rather veg heavy this month with lots happening in my new vegetable and fruit garden. I have been making this post for a few weeks now and every time I come back to add to it I realise my garden has grown again!

The plot has been newly dug this year from field to garden so there is a lot of weeding each weekend to turn the soil over and remove weeds. As of a couple of weeks ago the beans were making their way up the sticks, the courgettes are filling out and the purple sprouting needed a net before the butterflies made light-lace-work of it.

Three weeks after taking the garden picture above, we picked all of these vegetables yesterday. Everything is so quick after such a slow spring start.

I don't seem to have any black fly on my broad beans which is good and the potatoes have flowered and are ready to eat. We dug our first meal from them when we got back from our holidays and continue to enjoy them.

Meg commented that, when cooked, they tasted like they already had butter on them when we ate them in a nicoise salad with tuna. The variety is Nadine.

I am loving cooking with herbs again after a drought whilst we set up the garden. Potato salad with chives is a family favourite of ours.

We have a lot of lettuce; all different varieties and all at different stages of development thanks to some mindful planting and sowing. Big girl is growing veg as the skills part of her Duke of Edinburgh award so she is trying to provide a veg bowl every Friday for our lovely neighbours. This means some careful sowing to keep the succession of bowls coming. 

In the greenhouse I am watering morning and evening to keep my various tomatoes, gherkins, chillies, peppers and cucamelons thriving. There are tomatoes of all kinds: yellow, plum, cherry, beefsteak. These are all twice as big as when I took the photo. I have had a few cherry toms and they are delicious.

On the fruit front we had some strawberries but the first flurries were eaten by birds so we had to create some protection. They did not fruit wildly as they were first year plugs therefore I am surprised I am getting any which is a bonus. A neighbour had so many she didn't know what to do with them so we went and helped her pick them in exchange for a few pounds to make jam.

The same newbie story could be said for my rhubarb which is a clump I snaffled from another neighbour. I thought it would limp on in the first year but it is going crackers. I used a stick in my strawberry jam to help it set and it worked a treat.

It is the summer holidays here so the girls are put through their paces. They are very good (now that we pay them) at doing some of our self-sufficiency-style jobs. This was actually a paid job for a neighbour who asked if my girls wanted to earn some money. Hell yeah they said! They love doing a job for money and sat for two hours doing this top and tailing under the shade of the umbrella. 

In the borders there are some delights. The delosperma is wonderful in the mid day sun.

I was very taken with this plant in the garden centre. Had no idea what it was. Bought it. Then found out when I got it home that it is very invasive like lily of the valley. I was advised by the RHS website to plant it in a bucket in the garden. I will dig it up when it has flowered and do just that. My florist pal loved it and called it 'Star of Bethlehem' Do you know this plant?

There have been yellow roses in front hot bed and pink ones in the back border which were wedding gifts a few years ago and brought from our old garden.

The rose is next to the ever flowering geum and lemon lupins.

It's time for the Dahlias to put on a show. This was one of the first to flower called 'Arabian Nights'. Again, this is in the hot border adding some depth of colour.

The heat has eased off here today meaning I have so many greenhouse jobs to get on with now that I can stand in there and not actually melt.  

What is growing in your corner of the world right now? Jo x


  1. Your veggies are looking amazing, I particularly love that bronze-tinged lettuce. Just waiting for the elephant garlic to ripen here, that is probably my best thing at the moment. I lost all my runner beans to the bad weather and replaced them with French beans, which the snails have half demolished. Courgettes aren't looking bad though. The wildlife pond is lovely at the moment, I like to watch the newts popping up to the surface from time to time. I love your photo of the girls topping and tailing, my boys used to do that sort of thing. Less keen now :) I have a mountain of cherries in the kitchen to stone and freeze later. I read somewhere that during harvest time, 45% of gardening is done in the kitchen, if you see what I mean. Great tip with the rhubarb. The last strawberry jam I made was more of a strawberry sauce.

  2. Jo, everything looks so amazing and healthy. I am in awe of your gardening skills and just love that it is really a family affair. Your girls are learning so much from you. Well done.

  3. All of you gardens look lovely and very productive. It's winter in my part of the world so the garden is full of brassicas which are doing very well. My mother used to grow the white flowers in her garden when I was a child and she called them Chin Chin Cheree, I hope that helps.

    1. ooh thank you that is a new to me and a very delightful name may I say. x

  4. What a fantastic looking garden, everything is looking so fresh and healthy. I smiled at the girls been rewarded for their work such a great incentive lol!

  5. It's almost miraculous, isn't it, how a garden full of flowers, food and colour can be made from a patch of brown earth? Well done. x

  6. It just all looks amazing. x

  7. All your veg is looking amazing, it is so good that your girls are interested and joining in with it all. It is the season for salad so you are doing a real service, what a lovely idea sharing with your neighbor, will she get extra credits for that? x

  8. Love seeing your flourishing garden as well as the girls funded industry! :) x